LOUDONVILLE — Sunday’s comeback win at Quinnipiac provided a confidence boost for the Siena women’s basketball team, and it was one that was certainly needed after so many things out of their control hadn’t gone the Saints’ way this season.
Prior to Sunday’s 63-60 victory, which saw the Saints score six unanswered points in the final minute, head coach Ali Jaques’ team hadn’t won a game since Jan. 10 — and what was likely even more frustrating was that the Saints had only played four games in the 42 days between wins because of a variety of issues related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
But that victory at Quinnipiac, which defeated Siena 84-63 several days earlier, provided a jolt of enthusiasm for Siena, and graduate student Isis Young said the game showed the Saints they “have a chance to win” it all when the MAAC’s teams head to Atlantic City next month for the league tournament.
“We really do,” Young said Thursday during a teleconference. “As long as we put it all together and stay healthy, I think we can get there.”
“Coming off the Quinnipiac win, I think we have shown depth in different areas,” Jaques said. “I think we have had as many practices and as much positive chemistry building as we’ve had all season — and we obviously want to keep that going in the same direction.”
Siena (3-6 MAAC, 3-6 overall) is scheduled to play at Saint Peter’s (7-8, 8-13) for a noon game Friday and a 4 p.m. game Saturday. Saint Peter’s is coming off a win against Niagara, and is a “really tough, scrappy” squad that Jaques said will test Siena because of its athleticism and ability to score points in a hurry.
“We have to be disciplined,” Jaques said. “We have to maintain our composure.”
While a win against one of the MAAC’s top teams provided some optimism for her club, Jaques said the Saints know they didn’t play a perfect game last Sunday. What Siena did, though, at Quinnipiac was put “four quarters together” for one of the first times this season, and that offered a glimpse at what the Saints can accomplish this season if they’re able to stay consistently on the court as they head into the regular season’s final stretch.
“We have a lot left that we can improve on, and be really good at, to get ourselves hitting on all cylinders in the next two weeks,” Jaques said.